Libya independence: King Idris anniversary celebrated


Libya independence: King Idris anniversary celebrated
by Darius Kadivar

It is an immensely symbolic moment for Libyans as they mark the 60th anniversary of independence. The United Libyan Kingdom was formed on 24 December 1951 under King Idris. But after Col Muammar Gaddafi seized power in 1969, only the coup date in September was allowed to be marked.

British Pathé News: Coronation of King Idris:

Libya: Libya declares independence and crowns a new King

This is a day inwhich people feel that the huge challenges facing post-Gaddafi Libya will be put to one side. The tasks include forming a new national identity bringing together the different regions and tribes under a new strong central government. But the priority today is the party, which is expected to go on long into the night. People feel that this is a second freedom now, a freedom from 42 years of Gaddafi.

Documentary Narrated by Heir to the Libyan Throne Mohammed El Senussi: The 60th Anniversary of the Independence of Libya:

Libya independence: King Idris anniversary celebrated (bbc)

Libya has celebrated the anniversary of its independence from Italy and France - for the first time in 42 years. The United Libyan Kingdom was formed on 24 December 1951 under King Idris. But after Col Muammar Gaddafi seized power in 1969, only the coup date in September was allowed to be marked. In Tripoli, crowds marched from Martyrs Square to the former Royal Palace, chanting "No more Gaddafi!" Separately, the economy minister who had served under Col Gaddafi resigned. Taher Sharkas was appointed by the former leader just two months before his capture and death at the hands of rebels in October. Mr Sharkas resigned after weeks of rallies, during which protesters had demanded the exclusion of former regime officials from the cabinet.

Mass lunch scrapped

The day's central event was a march to the former Royal Palace, which currently houses the country's national museum.

"Today, we begin the building of Libya as our forefathers have done," Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib from the National Transitional Council said. "We call on our sons to build Libya after its destruction," he added. One of those present at the celebrations, Prince Idris bin Abdullah al-Senussi, who was among the royal family members forced into exile, told the BBC that he had dreamed of being able to one day return to Libya.

"Libyans are determined to build a country, to have a democracy," he said. "I think they will never accept any more somebody to dictate or humiliate them. Libyans will run their country by themselves." However, a planned mass lunch for several thousand people in Tripoli was cancelled for security reasons. Even today, many Libyans remain unaware of the significance of 24 December- the anniversary was not celebrated during Col Gaddafi's four-decade rule.

Recommended Watchings:

PHOTO ESSAY: 1960s Libya: A Glimpse of Life Before Gaddafi

THE «R» WORD: Film on the «United Kingdom of Libya» Narrated by it’s Heir

Related Blogs:

Libya's Exiled Crown Prince Hails 'New Chapter' For Libya

MONARCHY OR REPUBLIC ? British MP Calls For Referendum On Libya’s Future

Former Kingdom’s PM Adovocates A Parliamentary System for Future Libya


ROYAL HOPEFUL:Libyan Crown Prince offers to help homeland

Exiled Libyan Crown Prince sees Gaddafi toppled soon

European Parliament Hosts Libya's Crown Prince

Libya's Exiled Crown Prince calls on world to stop 'massacre,' remove Gaddafi

TRIPOLI BRIGADE:France 24's Groundbreaking Documentary on Libyan Rebels


more from Darius Kadivar
Darius Kadivar

Troops deployed in western Libya

by Darius Kadivar on

Troops deployed in western Libya (bbc)


The Libyan government has declared a "military zone" and deployed troops in the west of the country, after days of clashes between rival militias.

The authorities have called for an end to the violence, which has left at least 16 people dead since Monday.

The area includes the mountainous towns of Zintan, Mizdah and Shegayga, some 150 kilometres south of Tripoli.

It is the latest outbreak of fighting to test the new authorities since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi last year.




Darius Kadivar

Libya town tribal clashes kill 16

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya town tribal clashes kill 16 (bbc)


Fighting between government forces and tribesmen in southern Libya continues for a second day, bringing the death toll up to at least 16.

Darius Kadivar

Benghazi's bid for Cyrenaica autonomy divides Libyans

by Darius Kadivar on

Benghazi autonomy divides Libya (bbc)


By Gabriel Gatehouse 


The concept of federalism is exciting passions in Libya.

On Tuesday, hundreds of people danced and sang songs about federalism in the city of Benghazi, as local leaders proclaimed the eastern part of Libya to be the semi-autonomous "State of Cyrenaica".



Darius Kadivar

Bomb targets US offices in Libya

by Darius Kadivar on

Bomb targets US offices in Libya (bbc)


A bomb goes off outside the US embassy offices in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, causing minor damage to its outer gate.

Darius Kadivar

Libya jails 24 'East European mercenaries' who claim innocence

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya jails 'foreign mercenaries' (bbc)


A Libyan court has jailed 24 foreigners accused of being mercenaries for Muammar Gaddafi's regime during last year's conflict.

The men from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus were found guilty of repairing surface-to-air-missile batteries.

Sentences range from life imprisonment for the man identified as the group's co-ordinator, to 10 years of hard labour for the others.

The men deny the charges and insist they were just oil workers in Libya.

The judgment, the first of its kind, was handed down following several hearings in recent months.



Darius Kadivar

Libya struggles to prepare for landmark elections

by Darius Kadivar on

Struggle to prepare Libya polls (bbc)


"Voter participation is a religious obligation - the Grand Mufti of Libya," says one recent text message sent to Libyans ahead of the landmark elections for a new parliament.

With just over a month until people are due to vote for a new National Public Conference, which will choose a government and draft a new constitution, the Libyan authorities have been resorting to increasingly novel ways to encourage registration.

Although they have at times appeared desperate, the tactics have so far led to more than a million eligible people - about a sixth of the population - signing up.

There is a lot of excitement among Libyans about the prospects of voting in what the National Transitional Council (NTC) has promised will be the country's first free and fair elections. 


Darius Kadivar

Libya militia takes control of Tripoli airport

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya militia takes over airport (bbc)

Security forces and militia brigades move into Libya's main airport in Tripoli, after an armed group overran the runway demanding the release of a leader

Darius Kadivar

Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi dies in Tripoli

by Darius Kadivar on

Lockerbie bomber Megrahi is dead (bbc)

Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi dies at home in Tripoli,


Megrahi, 60, was convicted by a special court in the Netherlands in 2001.

He was freed from Scottish jail in 2009 on compassionate grounds because of cancer, stirring controversy when he outlived doctors' expectations.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said it was a day to remember the 270 victims of "an appalling terrorist act".

Mr Cameron, who is in Chicago for a Nato summit, said Megrahi should never have been freed, Reuters news agency reports.


Darius Kadivar

Benghazi votes in Libya's local elections

by Darius Kadivar on

Benghazi votes in local elections (bbc)


Residents in the Libyan city of Benghazi vote in local council elections, the first polls held in the city since the 1960s.

Darius Kadivar

Seven die in south Libya clash

by Darius Kadivar on

Seven die in south Libya clash (bbc)


Seven people have been killed and more than 20 injured in clashes in Libya's western desert town of Ghadames, the government says.

Government spokesman Nasser el-Maneaa blamed an "armed group from outside the town" for the violence.

He added that the army had been sent to Ghadames and the situation was now under control.

Unconfirmed reports say the clashes were between town residents and Tuareg tribesmen - nomads who roam the desert.

The fighting erupted over control of a checkpoint on the edge of the town - on a route often used for smuggling, local officials were quoted as saying by Reuters.

Libya's interim government is struggling to control the vast country with numerous tribal groups after former leader Col Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in the uprising last year.

Many Tuaregs supported the late leader during the fighting.




Darius Kadivar

Libya's Belhadj quits military post for politics

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya's Belhadj to enter politics (bbc)


Libya's Islamist rebel commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj says he has quit the military in a bid to enter politics, ahead of upcoming polls

Darius Kadivar

Nato disputes HRW Libya deaths claim

by Darius Kadivar on

Nato disputes Libya deaths claim (bbc)


Nato says it did "everything possible to minimise risk to civilians" during last year's air strikes in Libya, after a critical report by a rights group.

Darius Kadivar

Nato urged to investigate civilian deaths in Libya

by Darius Kadivar on

Nato pressed over Libya deaths (bbc)


A leading human rights organisation urges Nato to investigate fully the deaths of at least 72 civilians in air strikes in Libya last year.



Nato Libya mission: Facts
  • Nato flew 26,500 sorties since it took charge of Libya mission on 31 March 2011
  • 9,700 strike sorties
  • 5,900 military targets destroyed
  • 600 tanks or armoured vehicles destroyed
  • 400 artillery/rocket launchers destroyed
  • 16 countries provided air assets

Source: Nato


Darius Kadivar

Libya struggles to prepare for landmark elections

by Darius Kadivar on

Against the clock (bbc)


Libya struggles to prepare for landmark elections


With just over a month until people are due to vote for a new National Public Conference, which will choose a government and draft a new constitution, the Libyan authorities have been resorting to increasingly novel ways to encourage registration.


Darius Kadivar

Libya PM brands Tripoli office attackers outlaws

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya PM brands attackers outlaws (bbc)

Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib denounces gunmen who attacked his offices in the capital Tripoli as "outlaws

Darius Kadivar

Libya PM office attacked by gunmen in Tripoli

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya PM office suffers gun attack (bbc)

The office of Libya's interim prime minister, Abdurrahim al-Keib, is attacked by gunmen believed to be ex-rebels, in Tripoli, leaving at least two dead.

Darius Kadivar

In pictures: Libyans rip up Gaddafi's rule-book

by Darius Kadivar on

Exercising freedom (bbc)

How Libyans are tearing up Gaddafi's curious rule-book

Darius Kadivar

Libya lifts ban on religious parties as voters register

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya lifts religious parties ban (bbc)



Libya's NTC lifts its ban on religious parties as Libyans register to vote in June's congressional elections.


Libya's National Transitional Council has lifted a ban on religious parties taking part in June's election.

At the same time the NTC announced a clampdown on Libyans loyal to the country's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi. Public praise of Gaddafi or his regime will now be an offence.

The election will choose members of a new General National Congress.

Registration centres opened throughout the country on 1 May, and voters have two weeks in which to register.

The NTC had announced a ban on parties organised along religious, regional, tribal or ethnic lines on 24 April.

Islamists allowed

It said then that the electoral law was designed to preserve "national unity".

But it published a new version of the law on 2 May that made no mention of the controversial measure.

Islamists and parties campaigning for a greater degree of regional autonomy in Libya will now be able to contest the elections.

The NTC has promised to hold elections by the end of June, but Western diplomats say this may slip until later in the summer.

They will be the first to be held in the country for decades.


Darius Kadivar

Libya ex-Oil Minister found dead in Danube River (Austria)

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya ex-minister 'dead in river' (bbc)


The body of former Libyan Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem is found in the Danube River near the Austrian capital, Vienna, police say.

Darius Kadivar

Libya bans religious political parties

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya bans faith-based parties (bbc)



Libyan authorities ban the formation of political parties based on religious principles, tribe or ethnicity ahead of elections scheduled for June.


The National Transitional Council said the law, passed on Tuesday, was designed to preserve "national unity".

But analysts say it is likely to infuriate religious parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood.


Darius Kadivar

A new federalism for Libya

by Darius Kadivar on

A new federalism for Libya (cnn)


Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, Libya’s road to democracy was going to be the hardest of all the Arab nations in transition. Last month, that process got even more complicated for the Libyan people. At a gathering in Benghazi, around 3,000 political, militia and tribal leaders from eastern Libya (the region known as Barqa or Cyrenaica) announced unilateral plans to begin establishing their own autonomous government.

Overall, the ‘Barqa Council’ maintained that it want the region to remain part of a united Libya, but needed to do this to stop decades of discrimination against the east. However, the conference declared that the eastern state would have its own parliament, police force, courts and capital (Benghazi, the country's second largest city) to run its own affairs. Foreign policy, the national army and oil resources would be left to the central government in the capital Tripoli in western Libya.

The move was vehemently denounced by the leaders of the National Transitional Council (NTC) in Tripoli, who rejected any calls for a federal Libya. Overall, the idea of federalism is very controversial in Libyans, as well as throughout the Arab world. The concept is a sensitive one largely because it has become synonymous with fragmentation and partition.


Libya, like most Middle Eastern states, has weak national social cohesion and feeble national governing institutions. A federal system of governance will empower Libya’s regions thus creating a more robust state that can meet the needs of its people. What is important to remember is that there are the two types of federalism: vertical and horizontal. 

Darius Kadivar

Jordan trains Libya police force

by Darius Kadivar on

Jordan trains Libya police force (bbc)


Jordan has begun training Libyan policemen as part of a plan to reintegrate former anti-Gaddafi rebels back into Libyan society.

Darius Kadivar

Understanding the Sanusi of Cyrenaica: How to avoid a civil war

by Darius Kadivar on

Understanding the Sanusi of Cyrenaica: How to avoid a civil war  by Frankie Martin and Akbar Ahmed 


While many Libyans of all regions wanted Gaddafi gone and sacrificed much to make this happen, the people of Cyrenaica, it can be plausibly argued, played the most prominent role in the revolution. The clues as to Cyrenaica's unique status were everywhere in the uprising, if one cared to look.

Sanusi Sufi order

Chief among these clues were the symbols of the central marker of eastern identity, the Sanusi Sufi order that was established in Cyrenaica in the 19th century and became the Libyan monarchy. Not only did protesters in places such as Benghazi, the capital of Cyrenaica, wave the Sanusi flag, but they carried pictures of King Idris al-Sanusi, the head of the Sanusi order, who Gaddafi deposed.

The protesters revived the old national anthem of the Sanusi era - which has now been re-established as the Libyan national anthem - and rebel brigades were named after anti-colonial Sanusi fighters. The Benghazi conference of tribal leaders earlier this month named Zubair Ahmed al-Sanusi, King Idris' nephew, the leader of the new Cyrenaica Transitional Council, which is intended, they declared, to "protect the rights" of the local people.

Who are the Sanusi and why do they remain so influential to so many? Only by understanding the Sanusi order, the Cyrenaica tribes and the historic role of both in the development of Libya will we be able to make sense of both the recent moves towards autonomy and prospects for the future of Libyan democracy and unity. 

Darius Kadivar

Gaddafi son 'attacked in custody'

by Darius Kadivar on

Gaddafi son 'attacked in custody' (bbc)

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is being kept in isolation and has been beaten, his representatives at the International Criminal Court allege.


Darius Kadivar

Libyans flock to Gaddafi beaches

by Darius Kadivar on

Libyans flock to Gaddafi beaches (bbc, VIDEO)


Many things have changed for the Libyan people since the dramatic events of 2011 - and getting access to their beaches is just one of them.

It is thought that before the revolution which ended the 42-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi, some of Libya's beaches and seaside camps were reserved almost exclusively for members of his family.

Tom Santorelli reports. 

Darius Kadivar

At least 14 dead in Libya clashes

by Darius Kadivar on

At least 14 dead in Libya clashes (bbc)


Clashes between ethnic Berbers and their Arab neighbours have killed at least 14 people and injured many more in Libya, officials say.

Fighting has continued for a third day around the predominantly Berber town of Zuwara in western Libya.

The National Transitional Council (NTC) has said it is sending forces to intervene and enforce a ceasefire.

It has been struggling to assert its authority over tribal groups following the ousting of Col Gaddafi last year


Darius Kadivar

Libya's Toubou tribal leader raises separatist bid

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya's Toubou tribal leader raises separatist bid (Al Arabya)


The head of the Toubou tribe in Libya on Tuesday denounced to AFP what he said was a plan to “ethnically cleanse” his people, and raised the threat of a separatist bid, a day after deadly clashes.

“We announce the reactivation of the Toubou Front for the Salvation of Libya (TFSL, an opposition group active under the former regime) to protect the Toubou people from ethnic cleansing,” Issa Abdel Majid Mansur told AFP.


Darius Kadivar

Libya militias in deadly clashes

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya militias in deadly clashes (bbc)



Clashes between rival militias in the southern Libyan city of Sabha have left more than 30 dead, officials say.

Fighting between former rebels and gunmen from the Toubou group reportedly began on Sunday after a militiaman from Sabha was killed in a row over a car.

Government forces have arrived in the city and are trying to restore calm.

Libya's governing National Transitional Council (NTC) is struggling to assert its authority following the ousting of Col Muammar Gaddafi last year.

Darius Kadivar

Libya 'to get former spy chief' extradition from Mauritania

by Darius Kadivar on

Libya 'to get former spy chief' (bbc)


Libya's deputy PM says Mauritania will extradite Gaddafi intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, but there is no official confirmation.


Darius Kadivar

Libya's mass graves

by Darius Kadivar on

As the Libyan authorities try to secure the extradition of the former head of intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi, the BBC has been told that there could still be as many as 8,000 missing or disappeared people in the country, from both sides of the conflict, as the BBC's Wyre Davies reports from Tripoli.

Libya's mass graves (bbc)